Regardless of what industry your business is in, your current customers and potential customers are using social media on a daily basis. They are interacting with their favourite brands through social media and looking for new intriguing ones to follow.
If you’re not speaking to your target audience on a social media network, then you’re missing out on a great opportunity to connect. Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are powerful marketing tools that can bring remarkable success to your business. By leveraging the unique potential these platforms provide, you can increase traffic to your website, raise brand awareness, create a brand identity and positive brand association, and improve communication and customer interaction.
But it’s not easy. With all the social media noise, it’s hard to keep your audience engaged and connected to your brand. To keep customers attentive and engaged, you need to share relevant and personality-packed content.
Easier said than done. So how can you create successful content like this and what does it look like? Well, here are some key things to consider...
Visual content is key to social success
The best way to engage viewers is with visual content. Visual content includes pictures, images, illustrations, infographics, and videos. This type of content is dominating the share of attention evidenced by the rise of social apps like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
Twitter discovered that including an image in your social media post can increase engagement by an average of 35%.
Facebook has observed a 37% higher level of engagement for photos over text.
Your reviews = Marketing content
Company reviews speak to a seller’s trustworthiness, reputation, and customer experience. Your reviews provide social proof, and your customer’s voice is the most useful tool you could ever use. People prefer recommendations from their friends, influencers, and their community, above any other traditional marketing tactics.
A study done by McCarthy Group research revealed that 84% of millennials do not trust advertising anymore.
Image generated by Trustpilot’s Image Generator
80% of consumers said they’d be more likely to purchase from a brand if they saw positive user reviews on the company’s Facebook page.
Customer advocacy tells an honest story
Customer advocacy is letting your customers tell your story. It can take the form of a customer’s video testimonial, images of them using your product/service, or reviews. Customer advocacy triggers a high level of emotion from the customer, making it a leading marketing tactic by major companies like IKEA, Coca-Cola, and Lululemon as you can see below. The high level of customer engagement builds a strong relationship between customer and brand.
47% of Millennials trust user-generated content, compared to 25% which trust content owned by brands.
Want more tips on creating social media content?
Check out our webinar “Your Guide to Creating Engaging Social Media Content” During the webinar, participants were able to submit their questions regarding social media content - below, we’ve answered some of the questions raised in detail.
Q: If your products aren't particularly exciting, but are a necessity how would you suggest encouraging social media sharing?
A: Don't get discouraged just because your product is not the ‘coolest thing on the block’ - continue to be active on social media and find exciting ways to show how customers engage with your product.
This is a perfect chance to get really creative and brainstorm brand associations you want to have that can add more to your social media posts. Many brands that sell “boring” products like Charmin (toilet paper), Mr. Clean (cleaning products), and Old Spice (deodorant) use humor, appeal, and emotion to amp up their social media and get shoppers engaged and talking.
If your product isn't that compelling on its own, then share an image of people using your product or share something that your brand associates with or your company loves to celebrate. Here is an article from Content Creator on examples of how "boring" brands are killing it on social media and an article from Hubspot that discusses how brands have made their "boring" products more fun using humor. Think big, even if your marketing budget is small - the best ideas cost nothing. Take a page from Charmin's hashtag campaign "#tweetfromtheseat", which is used by Charmin often but also encourages users to post on their own using the hashtag.
Q: How can a B2B company succeed in social media?
A: If you’re a B2B business, it's still important to be active on a social media channels. However, you need to ensure that you’re on a channel most suitable for reaching your customers. In most cases, B2B businesses will find greater success on LinkedIn and Twitter as opposed to Facebook or Instagram. However, before you write-off a channel, do some investigation, such as tracking where your leads derive from, to get a clear idea on which channel would be most effective.
When it comes to B2B social media content, it's always a great idea to share useful information, such as articles or blogs that you have written or third-party articles relevant to your audience. A great example of this knowledge sharing, is our very own #FAQFriday that our marketing team has started, where we offer more information and details to our business customer's questions. This article is only one touchpoint - we’re continuing the conversation on social in order to capture a larger, more relevant audience.
When posting, opt for brevity and throw in an image once in awhile about your product or service and share a fun fact. People are also very interesting, so share something cool about your employees or new hires. Remember, while you’re a company marketing to other companies, ultimately, it’s people talking to people, so be friendly, be personal, and be nice!
Q: Regarding the Image Generator, Facebook will only allow 20% of text on the images (without getting a lower reach). Isn't that a problem?
A: Facebook's 20% text on image rule is for Facebook ads, not your own images that you share on your profile. Therefore, while you should still be conscious of how much text you include in your profile posts, there is no restriction. However, if you would like to use the Trustpilot Image Generator to create Facebook ads, then yes, you must be mindful of this. You can use Facebook's Overlay Tool to test your ad images. Just upload your desired image and Facebook will tell you your expected ad reach with your current text overlay.
Q: Do company-created posts really count as user generated content? Would it be better to encourage customers to share their review on their timeline instead?
A: Company created posts do not count as user generated content. User generated content can only come directly from the customer, making it a much stronger piece of content as customers are sharing their personal experience with the product, service or brand. What your customers have to say about your brand is much more valuable to shoppers than what you have to say about your own service or product. User generated content is often shared on your customer's own social media page and then tagged (linked to) or hash-tagged (#) to the company's own social media page.
Companies can then repost their customer's post to also have it on their own company social media profile. Encourage your customers to generate posts and share their thoughts and experience with your service or product by tagging your social media page or using a unique hashtag that is used by just your brand.
If you have more questions about social media or want to learn how Trustpilot can help you improve your social media performance, check out our guide introducing the Image Review Generator or just request a demo by clicking the image below.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the conversation! Tweet us at @Trustpilot using #onTheBlog and #FAQFriday. If you think we’ve overlooked anything, ask away!